ERIC Number: ED184338
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
"Watch up!": A Study of Verbal Routines in Adult Second Language Performance. Working Papers on Bilingualism, No. 19.
Scarcella, Robin C.
This report shows that verbal routines are not easily acquired by adult second language learners and it identifies some of the specific problems they have in acquiring routines. Empirical data concerning the role of verbal routines, (that is, fixed expressions which have been acquired as memorized wholes), in adult second language performance are presented. Thirty Spanish-speaking adults in an advanced ESL class were given the "Routines Test." Correct answers were those agreed upon by all twenty native speakers in the control group. Low test scores showed that common routines ("Thank you,""You're welcome") are not easily acquired. Errors which occurred were paraphrases in 44% of the cases. In many instances, they were syntactically correct but pragmatically deviant, breaking sociolinguistic interactional rules. Twenty-five per cent of the errors were due to partially acquired routines (cf. "Watch up!""Watch out!"), while 10% of the learners substituted phrases which usually indicated overgeneralization. (PMJ)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ontario Inst. for Studies in Education, Toronto. Bilingual Education Project.
Identifiers: Verbal Routines